After four years of contentious litigation, justice was
finally served in the tragic deaths of a mother and her three children who were
struck and killed while lawfully using a crosswalk on Roosevelt Boulevard that
was not controlled by any traffic light or traffic control signal.
Attorneys John M. Dodig and Jason A. Daria secured a pre-trial
settlement of $4.5 million on Sept. 9, 2019, on behalf of the family of 27-year-old Samara
Banks and three of her children for the fatal July 16, 2013, accident that
helped shine a spotlight on a dangerous condition that was created when the
City of Philadelphia in 1983 removed traffic signals protecting pedestrians crossing
in a mid-block crosswalk near 2nd Street. The crosswalk was designated by
cement sidewalks across the medians separating the inner and outer drives of
the Boulevard, serving as an invitation for Banks and her children to cross at
that location. A limited sightline at that location also created a significant hazard
Despite several subsequent studies and construction projects
that were performed on the Boulevard to enhance pedestrian safety, the dangerous
conditions were never rectified.
The case was hotly contested, with the defense relying
strongly on the fact that the defendant drivers were drag racing and speeding,
and they were criminally convicted on serious charges related to the accident.
Banks’ oldest son, who was 5 years old at the time, as well
as Banks’ sister, were walking ahead of Banks and her younger children and
survived the crash.
The case marks the third lawsuit that Dodig and Daria have
brought in recent years on behalf of pedestrians injured and killed while
attempting to cross the dangerous roadway. In February 2000, a 13-year-old suffered
traumatic injuries, including permanent brain damage, when he was hit as he
attempted to cross 12-lanes of Boulevard traffic near St. Vincent Street. Four
years later, on Easter Sunday, another 13-year-old was struck and killed while
attempting to cross near Princeton Avenue. Dodig and Daria successfully settled
both of those cases.
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